This is a Richard Linklater film all the way with the usual existential talk about life, personal relationships and all done in the usual fly-on-the-wall, people in-transit manner; similarly, to his previous films the before/ after/ sunset/sunrise installments. In the case of Last Flag Flying its Larry ‘Doc’ Shepherd (Steve Carrell) whose son's body has just died in the Iraq War and its his wish to bury his body next to his deceased mum/ wife grave in Boston, instead of a military honorary burial in Delaware. Doc ropes in his long-lost companions from his own days in the Navy and the Vietnam War: Sal Nealon (Bryan Cranston) an alcoholic joker type bar owner and the reformed Reverend Richard Mueller (Laurence Fishburne). As the drive progresses, the barriers of years of no communication slowly come down and old friendships are rekindled.

This is a buddy movie, through and through. You can almost imagine how the filming must of went; all four them (the three leads plus Linklater) all having a blast on set, drinking beer, telling jokes, letting the camera role to capture some intimate moment which will sure look ‘real’ on tape. That is precisely the problem with this film. It’s far too obvious, far too contrived and far too regurgitated. The dialogue, the comradery, "the whole let's all get on board and help our buddy, because it means so much to him" but in turn proves too much for us watching. It lacks the freshness of any of his previous work such as Boyhood or the boldness of his last film Every Body Wants Some!!. Cranston does manage to steal the show on occasion with his clownish carefree behaviour which essentially drives this rather disappointingly banal film.